Government agencies eye  technology-driven and resource based livelihood to combat economic shocks of man-made and natural calamities.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to ensure attainment of inclusive growth despite economic shocks due to calamities.  The partnership was forged yesterday at the Occupational Safety and Health Center during the launching of the convergence program on Technology Driven, Resource-Based and Sustainable Livelihoods dubbed as Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda (RAY).

RAY forges the mutual commitment of promoting livelihood and employment opportunities to those affected by calamities across the country, particularly those affected by typhoon Yolanda. The Departments of Agriculture(DA)  and Trade and Industry (DTI) are also part of the convergence program.

DA will provide the roadmap of agribusiness and raw materials and DTI for the market data respectively.

“As a result of this convergence, our respective regional offices will conduct workshops that would produce regional action plans which will identify more technology driven and sustainable livelihood projects benefiting more poor, marginalized, vulnerable, and displaced workers from the calamity stricken and calamity-prone areas,” DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said.

Science and technology secretary Mario G. Montejo on the other hand said that his department has already developed technologies and innovations that could add value to the local available resources in many rural areas.

“We want to harness the locally available resources in the countryside by providing the appropriate technology to create value and link them to the right market,” Montejo said.

RAY will be implemented over a three-year period, from 2014-2016.

“At the end, we hope to create resilient and sustainable communities with decent employment and livelihood under a livable environment through technology and innovation,” said Baldoz.

In Davao region, the convergence program will be implemented in the calamity affected areas of Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley Provinces.

“In Davao region, we have initially identified post-harvest and processing of powdered chili (dumang), community access to potable water, and cacao and rubber production.  This is part of our ‘rebuilding and building back better’ in calamity-stricken areas.  In partnership with DOST, DA, DTI and other agencies, we will Rebuild thru Innovative and Sustainable Economic Enterprise (RISE),” Dole 11 regional director Joffrey M. Suyao said.

(Sherwin B. Manual/DOLE11)